I’m not sure I ever thought I would be able to say, “I have seen the Taj Mahal.” I’m pretty sure I hadn’t thought about it until I was presented with the opportunity to come to India for work. I have a funny memory of camping with my brother and his friends one year where someone put up a sign on their tent naming it the Taj Mahal. There have definitely been other references to it that have caused me to pause, but the thoughts of it were short-lived.

Well, now I can say it. Not a picture I would normally share (not good of either of us) but I am in front of the Taj and I have proof.

Taj Mahal 05032015

It was really amazing. Although our guide was getting on my nerves — he was WAY too cheesy — he did a great job of making the history interesting and encouraging us to really enjoy the details (insisting,actually). I am very thankful for that.

Taj collage

Last weekend we had a great time visiting in Missouri.  My nephew Ely graduated from Plattsburg High School.  It was a really nice ceremony and it was so good to see him SO happy!

Visiting after the graduation with Ely and his brother Sammy, and seeing people I haven’t seen in a long time was just as good as I expected.  An important note:  John got to meet Sam’s mom which is something Sam was very excited to have happen.  I just love that the two of them have become such good friends.

Here’s a picture from the day before when John and I were out roaming the countryside.

Having fun in the country!

Having fun in the country!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking forward to the long weekend at home to paint for the show at the Growing Place on June 21, and to work in the yard!

Hope the weather is as beautiful by you as it is here.  Happy Memorial Day weekend all!

Cheers!

jen (by jennifer)

I was SO excited yesterday to receive the following email:

“Hello.
I have a yellow three legged table that I purchased somewhere and sometime ago, that I just love.  I was turning it upside down during a deep clean and noticed your card taped to the bottom.  I was just curious if you are still creating and if so to what capacity.
Thanks so much!”

My reply:  What a treat!  I TOTALLY remember that transaction…You were with a friend at the Elmhurst Garden Faire and Walk (2005 I think) and you really wanted the table despite the fact that “your husband was going to kill you because you were moving and the last thing you needed was one more thing to pack”?!…

Yes.  I still paint and sell my work.  In fact, after many years of not attending that faire, I returned to Elmhurst this July and had a great show. …I’m so excited that you still love your table.  I’d love to see a picture of it in it’s home – and if you wouldn’t mind I’d like to tell this story on my blog and include the photo perhaps. … THANK YOU very much for taking the time to email me.  Truly the reason I continue to paint is not only because I enjoy it, but I’m always thrilled when I can make someone happy by taking a piece home with them.

Here are pictures of the table that went from Elmhurst, Ill. to Oklahoma and now resides in Milwaukee, Wis.  It is a resting place in their second bathroom for hair tools.  How fun(ctional)!!
YellowTable2005SoldYellowTable2005FunctionalArtYTable
If you have an item or story that you’d like to share about “a jen”, PLEASE do!  This makes me SO happy!
jen (by jennifer)

Playing catch up is just something we do, right?  So…here is a catch up photo of the last custom painted item I delivered.  Ellie approached me at the Art in the Garden Festival in Naperville for the last two years, inquiring whether or not I thought I could do something with a milk can that has sentimental value to her.  This year I went to her house and brought her milk can home with me.  With the help of my awesome boyfriend John, we sanded it down and cleaned it up.  Then I went to work spraying the base coats and then adding the hand-painted details.

Ellies milk can 091613

She was very pleased.  What a great project.

 

jen

Hippo Birdies Dad!

January 31, 2013

Happy Birthday to my dad! Thanks for all the great conversations that no one would believe we’ve had. 😉

LOVE you –

jen (and the Arch)

Happy Birthday Mom!

January 19, 2013

I’ll spend my day today finishing a winter wreath for my front door, organizing my dressing room and doing some creative projects.  Wonder where I get it from?  The one I call mom.  Thanks mom for everything you’ve taught me – some things you realize and some that you don’t.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!  Hope you have a wonderful day in the woods of Missouri.

love,

jen

Happy Mothers Day!

May 13, 2012

This picture reminds me of my Grandma A.  It also represents quite a few other women who have impacted my life.  The brush belonged to my Great Grandma Krueger, the peonies remind me of Grandma A, the old purse and glasses are from my Grama Z, and the fact that I put these things together on the top of my dresser comes from learning to decorate creatively with things that having meaning to me from living and learning from my mom.

Happy Mothers Day to all the great women in my life (then and now).  If you are reading this, you are likely included.

love, jen

Sharing Flowers

August 16, 2011

My black-eyed susans are amazing!  And abundant.  To think they came in a shopping bag, dried up and dead-looking about 12 years ago from my friend P… crazy.

Happy Tuesday All!

I like to have a chair in my dressing room and one in the kitchen and one next to my dresser in my bedroom and I have one in my living room…  I’m starting to wonder – oh and in my office.  I guess I like chairs.  They are a great catch-all.  That’s probably it.  Makes me feel like I’m not being messy if everything is piled on a chair.  So why not make it a good-looking one?  Like this –

Ironically  my purse matches the seat almost perfectly.  Anyway, this is a piece I got from a resale shop that donates their proceeds to cancer.  I donated a couple other painted items they thought they could sell and they gave me this interesting chair.  It’s been repainted and has a new seat, but it still carries a good caring vibe.  Funny how stuff can do that.

Happy Thursday folks.  Technically I guess I missed my feature for yesterday, so I’ll do another later.

Have a great day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mark Your Calendars

June 15, 2011

Interested?  Watch for more information on this event and the Gardener’s Art Festival:  Enjoy the View at the Growing Place in Naperville.

Both events are scheduled for the same date.

Go Cubs!

April 1, 2011

This is from last year May 1 when Kristen (right), Kevin (left), Zimmy (Kristen’s husband) and I went to the Cubs game.  Rooftop package deal – great view and an awesome time.

And, YES, I have been working in the shop.  I’ll try to post this weekend with some photos. 

Happy Friday all!

jen (by jennifer)

Her Favorite Color Was Pink

February 6, 2011

I’ve always liked the word fortunate rather than lucky.  I’ve also been a fanatic for grammar and spelling.  Sure as I say that I’ll have someone comment on my posts that I have spelled or punctuated something incorrectly.  Oh well. 

When I was about 23 I started writing a book.  I often think when I finally open my shop and I have to be close by in case I get a customer that I will finish writing For Life.  But fortunate as I am, when I do I will have a very cherished note from my Grandma A. by my side.  Being the avid reader that she was before her sight started going, when I decided I would send the only hard copy draft of what I had written so far to someone to weigh in, it was her.  Many people would have either skimmed it at best or read it and responded with the obligatory “That’s wonderful, honey,” but not my Grandma.  She responded in detail about what she liked and what she would like more of.  What a great lady. 

I forget if I told the story of finding my book again, but the first couple lines start, “It was an unusually cool day for July.  The wind whipped through the trees and across the field into the window of their living room…”  I found the packet I’d been looking for a few years ago when it was just that. 

I don’t really feel like taking the time to try to express how I feel about my relationship with my Grandma A., but I can tell you I am a better person for having her in my life in so many ways.  It was a very different relationship than the one I had with GZ but no less special or impactful on the person I am today.  I am fortunate.  Very fortunate.

I have more cards and notes and memories of my “Grandma Jane” than anyone would probably guess.  And as she would have always said to me…

Bless You.  The world became a better place the day you came into it.

Love

Jennifer

R.I.P. GZ

January 29, 2011

Although cryptic, my last post was inspired by a visit to my Grama Zimmerman (GZ) in the nursing home.  I never thought I would be sitting next to her holding her frail hand and answering questions to help her sort out how long she’d been there and assuring her that family was around her and that she had been visited regularly.  It was very sad.  But I was able to make her laugh a couple of times and she said she felt better after talking with me.  I’ll leave the other details of the day out for the sake of brevity and staying on topic.  What it really comes down to is it was time for her to let go and move on.  And she did.  Thursday morning after a visit from my mom.  So, now there are two.  This is a picture from about three years ago at her ninety-third birthday get together at my brother Bob’s house.

Hazel Marie Zimmerman, Janet Marie Zimmerman (Anderson), Jennifer Marie Anderson

So today we will have a private service and lay her to rest.  I’m certain she is already much happier than she has been in a long time, reunited with my Grampa and my brother.  For that I am happy.

I spent a lot of time with G and G Z when I was growing up.  And when I stayed with them there was always a project to do.  Often it was painting something.  So this morning until the time I have to clean up to go to the service, that is what I will do.  Already I can smell the varnish from the other room.  I put a coat on a project I’m finishing for my mom that is her Mother’s Day gift from last year.  Figured I better do it before May rolls around again.  I get the feeling even if I live to 96 in good health as she did, there will still not be enough time to do all that I will want to.

Peace and love GZ –

“Jenny-re”

You just Never know

January 21, 2011

If you know me at all, you know I can rationalize anything.  You also know I believe everything happens for a reason. 

I am extremely grateful to be from a family of creative individuals.

Tell someone today that you learned something from them.  Doesn’t matter whether it was positive or negative.

Changes…

June 25, 2010

“Time may change me, but I can’t change time…” A simple statement may not be more true for me today. I actually feel like right when I am perfectly set up to display my “art work” I am most at a loss for producing anything I can step back from and wonder from where it came. That was when I always thought I had really done something worth the word “art”. Nonetheless, I am enjoying the process. And perhaps I’m growing. This is Me and GZ by the way. Me, Jen by Jennifer, Jenny-re (short for Jennifer Marie), Jen, Jennifer, and many more,and GZ = Grama Zimm, Grandma Zimmerman, Hazel Marie Zimmerman, and most recently referred to be by a life-long fan “Haze”. Many people have asked me about my education in art and what training I have had to bring me to today. I’d like to think I was simply supposed to do this. And, perhaps, Haze had something to do with it.

peace, love and happiness ~

jen (by jennifer)

Ok.  I have decided to do a show this year.  I started in 2002 (I think) with the Elmhurst Garden Faire and Walk and then added The Growing Place – Art in the Garden Festival a couple of years later.  Up until last Summer (or the Summer before?) I had been doing both of them each year.  With having moved residence, the plans to open the shop, etc. I decided not to do them.  But this year I’m back!  And I will be doing things a little differently… taking items to represent the shop as a whole rather than just my stuff.  But I still have to get painting in order to take enough of my product to make a good display.

So – here’s to inspiration! 

I was watering mamala’s flowers for her last night, so I snapped a couple of pictures.  I then went home to check my garden out back… the 25 lily bulbs are starting to sprout!  BUT this morning I saw a bunny back there…. hmmm – I’m thinking that could be BAD.  I may have to let Mr. Kitty out afterall to patrol the grounds. 

Maybe he can put some of those quick moves on the flower munching bunny and all that practice on his straw will be worth it.

Have a great day all!  I’ll keep you posted.